Sunday, July 05, 2020

Word Study #2 Mantel

I like the word "mantel." It's a covering, a cloak, perhaps. I think of phrases, such as, the court's "mantel of justice" or the skin's "acid mantel" and I think of protection. I plant the flower, Lady's Mantel, for many reasons, partly because I like the sound of the name, partly because of its concept of protection, but mostly because it reminds me of my grandmother.

Although my grandmother had lived in Canada for more than 50 years, before she died, I rarely remember her speaking English. She could, of course, speak perfect English, but she was happiest speaking German - hochdeutsch (high German). I hear her even now saying "meine mantel" - her coat (her lady's mantel) as she was getting ready to go out.

Lady's Mantel is a herbalist's herb, Alchemilla Vulgaris. The flowers have protective properties, when used in teas, and the leaves, crushed, are especially good as poultices. I don't use Lady's Mantel for it's medicinal properties, I use it, as a florist would use Baby's Breath. It's a wonderful filler in flower arrangements. I know, this is a little frivolous, certainly a come down from loftier associations, such as justice, medicine or even the memory of my grandmother.

Well, we all have our weaknesses. One of mine is "composition" as in the arrangement of "things" for display. I hate, for example, a poorly arranged bouquet, snapshot, room setting - the list goes on. Another of my weaknesses is flowers or growing "stuff." I have, at the moment, 10 pots of African Violets on my windowsill and another one in the kitchen. One of the plants needs dividing, so that would make 13 pots and I have now run out of window space. I could put them on the mantelpiece - there's that word again, but there isn't enough light. Sigh!

Maybe, I'll just have to start giving them away.

Have a glorious day!

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